news digest


WMG has beef with DRM-free AnywhereCD

DENVER — Michael Robertson, founder of the original, has launched a new DRM-free music service called AnywhereCD, which is stocked with music from various Warner Music Group labels as well as such indie labels as SubPop and Roadrunner Records. However, "AnywhereCD is selling Warner Music Group content in a manner that flagrantly violates the terms of our agreement," a WMG representative said. "Accordingly, we have sent them a notice of termination, and they are required to immediately remove all of our content from their site." The service sells full albums only, not individual tracks, but the music purchased lacks any type of DRM. Once purchased, the album is stored in an online digital locker, from which buyers can download their music. The company declined to discuss the terms of its licensing deals.

Engebretsen exits RIAA for the Democrats

WASHINGTON — RIAA spokeswoman Jenni Engebretsen is leaving the trade association to take a position on the senior leadership team for the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee. DNC chairman Howard Dean named Engebretsen and five others to the convention's leadership team Thursday during a news conference in Denver, home of the 2008 Democratic Convention. The team is headed by Leah Daughtry, who will serve as convention CEO. Daughtry is chief of staff of the DNC and leads its outreach to faith communities. Before joining the RIAA, Engebretsen spent eight years working in Democratic politics, most recently as a regional communications director for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign.

MyNet trims soaps for reality

After going from five nights to two nights of soaps to make room for a fighting show and two movie nights, MyNetworkTV is trimming another night of scripted programming in May. The dramas "American Heiress" and "Saints & Sinners," which have been airing two-hour episodes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, respectively, will switch to one-hour episodes to air back-to-back Wednesday. Tuesday night in May will be devoted to such reality specials as "America's Trashiest Weddings," "Hooters Dream Girl Challenge" and "Ujena Bikini Jam." On May 16, MyNet also will pre-empt the soaps to air specials on Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears.

Sundance highlights among BAM lineup

The second annual Sundance Institute at BAM series announced its lineup of 21 features from the Sundance Film Festival and a series of events, including a docu panel with directors Nick Broomfield, Barbara Kopple, Albert Maysles and Raoul Peck. Screenings include 2007 Sundance award winners "Padre Nuestro," "Rocket Science," "Sweet Mud" and "War/Dance." Other events include a concert preview of the avant-garde theater company Mabou Mines' Sept. 11-themed work-in-progress "Song for New York." The series runs May 31-June 10 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Sultan joins Peace Arch as exec vp

Peace Arch Entertainment has recruited Lakeshore Entertainment vp international sales Julie Sultan to join the company as executive vp international theatrical film sales. Sultan will report to Peace Arch international distribution head Kevin Byles at the outfit's Marina del Rey headquarters. Her responsibilities include overseeing international sales and distribution of features produced and acquired by the company along with helping to acquire films and represent the company at film markets and fests. Sultan was director of international TV and worldwide home video sales at NBC Enterprises.